19 Sep 2016

Ragehammer: "War Hawks"


Unrepentant songs of war from Poland's finest
Poland's Ragehammer don't waste any time, having existed only for a short period before unleashing their beastly debut demo War Hawks in 2014. If any band has the right to call themselves blackened thrash metal it's Ragehammer. That being said, they aren't your garden variety D666/Desaster clone. Among the clusters of their fast-paced riffs and blasting drums there is left just a little room for something different - Something that definitely underscores and defines the entire sound of Ragehammer.


Here and there a riff or beat comes up that appears like something derived from a long history of grind and hardcore punk, but never so much that it takes over, dominates or permeates the War Hawks demo. Right off the bat, Ragehammer assail the ears of hapless victims listening to War Hawks for the first time. Not knowing what to expect, Ragehammer Rising pummels your eardrums with totally unhinged, maniacal vocals - To top it all off, the demo is mixed very loud, which is likely to fuck you off if you - like me - already listen at a high volume.

"The way they piece a song together to have as much momentum and energy as possible is astounding,"

There is never a dull moment as there is constantly stuff being added and going on in multiple layers. True, it makes for a demanding listening experience, but their intensity, tempo and pacing is something which is very hard to turn away from. The way they piece a song together to have as much momentum and energy as possible is astounding, and when they do slow things down there is still plenty of room for them to get busy with the details.

Prophet of Genocide, as an example, contrasts strongly with the fast-paced brutality of Ragehammer Rising by having a much slower pace and a heavier gait. But even so, the deliberation found in their heaviness provides phenomenal enjoyment. The pattern that Ragehammer follow on their War Hawks demo is an alternation between slow and fast, creating this back-and-forth feeling like the tides of battle. It's a surprisingly good way to keep things interesting, and while the menacing sounds of, as an example, The Wolfpack isn't exactly the tempo of a crawling chaos, it still holds a huge capacity for a more calculated evil rather than the "usual" chaotic approach that Ragehammer makes their own.

Their completely unrelenting advance is great for getting worked up. War Hawks establishes that what Ragehammer do, they do well. Do you feel like relaxing with some rockin' tunes where you can sing along to the chorus in an awful pitch? Leave the hall, Ragehammer is NOT for you.

8/10


Released in 2012 by Mythrone Promotion

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